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Watch NZH Local Focus: Whanganui flood predictions downgraded, but evacuations still possible

By Sieska Verdonk

People in flood prone areas of Whanganui are on tenterhooks, after another intense downpour overnight.

"I had no idea what was going on until like 6pm last night, and then from then it was a frantic mission to get everything out," says Kowhai Park resident Donna Ellison

Schools are closed today and residents are being urged to be prepared to move out.

Earlier predictions, of historic flood levels, have been downgraded for now.

"We have a massive evacuation team ready, but we really have to assess the data, last night at about 1030 the Papariki gauge was modelled to be at about 19.7 meters which would have been massive, probably the biggest flood Whanganui has experienced in living memory, in history. That's been now moderated a bit, they are looking at 13.5 which will peak at sometime this afternoon, which means tonight, Whanganui may still be flooded, we are really thinking that Taupo Quay will still be flooded," says Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall.

Kowhai Park was completely flooded during the 2015 floods, after stop banks were breached.

This time the council has placed a massive water bag over a low point to attempt to stop flooding.

Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club, on the banks of the Whanganui River, is the worst affected building so far.

The entire ground floor has been inundated.

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